Turkey Breast in Verjuice with Green Grapes and Almonds

2:25 am on 27 November 2008

Tarragon and chicken is well known, and it works a treat with turkey too, just that mild hint of anise. Lemon, verjuice, cream, grapes and almonds are the main flavours.

(Serves 6)


  • 2 skinned and boned turkey breasts, weighing around 450g each
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Small knob of butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1/4 cup verjuice (or use dry white wine)
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, peeled 
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted


1. Remove any fat from turkey breasts. Heat a large ovenproof casserole over a medium heat and when hottish drop in oil and a knob of butter. While butter is melting, put in turkey breasts (with what was the skin side facing down) and brown well on both sides. Season with a little salt and black pepper, add garlic and 1 tablespoon of tarragon. Cook for 1 minute, spoon some of the garlicky juices over the turkey, then pour in verjuice and immediately cover with a lid.

2. Transfer to an oven preheated to 180°C (fanbake) and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the meat is just cooked through but is still juicy. The meat will continue to cook with residual heat as it stands.

3. While the turkey is cooking, skin the grapes. This sounds fiddly, but it doesn't take a minute and it ensures you don't end up with tough or tannic skins spoiling the sauce. If the grapes are not seedless, cut them in half and flick out the seeds. Put prepared grapes in a cup with lemon juice; they'll keep fresh for around 30 minutes.

4. When turkey breasts are ready, remove them from the oven and rest them, covered with the lid, for 5 minutes.

5. Transfer turkey breasts to a board and attend to the juices. Scoop off any fat, then bubble up and add cream. Reduce a few minutes until thickish, add grapes, almonds and rest of the tarragon. Season lightly. Slice turkey breasts across the grain and arrange on a heated plate. Spoon over the sauce and serve immediately.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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